Kevin Harvick preview
HARVICK TAKES THE WHEEL: Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) co-owner Kevin Harvick will jump behind the wheel of the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet Impala for the first time this season at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. The two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion will make 11 starts in the series this year sharing driving duties of the No. 33 KHI Chevrolet with Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon and Scott Speed.
MENARDS ON BOARD: Along with long-time sponsor Rheem, Menards will be primary sponsor of the No. 33 KHI Chevrolet this season. The No. 33 team finished an organization-best third in the final Nationwide Series Owner's points last season. This year, they are focused on bringing home KHI's first Owner's Championship in the Nationwide Series.
STOUT STATS AT PHOENIX: Harvick has posted solid performances in 17 Nationwide Series starts at Phoenix. He has one win, 13 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. In those 17 starts he has only two finishes outside of the top 13. In the last three series events at the one-mile track, Harvick has collected a trio of second-place results.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: In 2011, KHI will celebrate their 10th year of competition in NASCAR. Team co-owner Kevin Harvick made KHI's first start in the Truck Series event at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in 2001, narrowly missing the win by inches to series veteran Jack Sprague. Ten years later Kevin and DeLana Harvick have two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championships to their credit and multiple wins with a host of drivers to boast in their over 80,000 square foot facility in Kernersville, North Carolina. During 2011 all KHI vehicles will carry a commemorative decal as the company celebrates their accomplishments over the last 10 years.
Phoenix International Raceway is a part of KHI's young history as the organization captured its first win at the desert track. KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick brought home the first win for the team at PIR in the Truck Series event in 2002. Harvick narrowly beat series veteran Ted Musgrave for the victory and became only the fifth driver in history to win a race in all three of NASCAR's national racing series.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 33 Menards team will utilize chassis No. 066 this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. This is a new chassis prepared by the No. 33 KHI team for competition this season.
HARVICK'S THOUGHTS ON PHOENIX: What are your thoughts about racing at Phoenix? "I really like racing at Phoenix. It's a unique, one-mile flat track. We've had success there but the last three races I've come in second. This No. 33 team performed really well last week in Daytona with Clint (Bowyer). So I'm looking forward to getting in the car and getting to victory lane.
"Phoenix is where we got our first win as a company. In 2002, I beat Ted Musgrave in the Truck Series race for the win. We only entered five events that season so it was pretty cool to get a victory. I also won at Phoenix in the Nationwide Series the year I earned my second series championship in 2006."